John Thomson: Street Life in London

John Thomson (Scottish, 1837-1921). STREET
, 1877-78. Woodburytype. From
Book: Thomson, John and Smith, Adolphe,
Street Life in London, 1877-78, plate 8. Gift of
Alden Scott Boyer. George Eastman House Collections.

In 1876, Scottish photographer John Thomson (1837-1921) began publication of a monthly magazine called Street Life in London (1877), combining his images with texts by Adolphe Smith to chronicle the lives of the poor in East London. His subjects-sweeps, bootblacks and flower sellers-were familiar types to consumers of popular genre prints of the period, but the use of the photographs gave these people and their surroundings an immediacy and individuality that had never been seen before. The subject of poverty, the reformist text and the mass-production and journalistic presentation all prefigure the rise of photojournalism and the documentary movement.

In addition to all 34 Woodburytypes from Street Life in London, this exhibition offers the inclusion of a video presentation on the Woodburytype process. A photomechanical printing process, the Woodburytype was an industrial technique that yielded a beautiful continuous tone image. For conservation reasons, this exhibition is limited to just three venues.

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Quick Facts
Booking12 weeks
Size50-100 running feet
ShippingVenue responsible for RT shipping
Rental Fee$6,000

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